I recently attended the BlissDom Canada Social Media Conference, for the second year. Last year I was so emotional after the conference I just couldn’t figure out how to put what I was feeling into words. I was literally on the verge of tears, during the whole conference for multiple reasons: I was nervous, the speakers were so passionate about their topics, and the people I met were so unbelievably friendly! I came home a completely changed person. I went to the conference an un-confident new blogger and came back as part of a family. That’s right, I was 35 years old and I finally felt as if I mattered in a group of people. I felt empowered that I could do something, that might make a difference, in the world. I met new friends and kept up these relationships online through the following year.
When it came time to register for the 2014 conference I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, I wanted to go again. I made it happen as soon as I could. I felt much more in control of my emotions, less nervous than the year before, and much more knowledgeable about the topics.
I bought a new outfit or two and boarded the plane. I was so gung-ho, ready to try to do everything, even arriving a day early so I could have time to swim, enjoy the hotel and take in the bonus workshops the day before the conference actually began!
I had a great first day…saw all my friends from the year before and met new ones. I learned some amazing new tricks in the workshops, had fun at the throwback Thursday party, saw Erica Ehm in her trademark black leather jacket, saw the actual Speakers Corner booth from Much Music days! It was amazing. I felt on top of the world.
Day 2 was no exception. I got up early and actually made it to the exercise class. I had a great day afterward, learning so much, from so many amazing people. I finally learned how to take a good photo – off of the automatic setting on my DLSR thanks to Beach Mama! I learned about how I can make a difference in the world from Krista Jefferson of I Am Just One. I met Charles the Butler again and won a paper towel tug of war! I went to an amazing Carnival put on my Canadian Lentils!
It was turning out to be the BlissDom of my dreams, until day three hit and I got sick. Really sick. I could barely hold it together long enough to attend my micro-sessions. Julie Elsdon-Height and Julie Nowell, I’m sorry if I looked like I wasn’t interested….I was!
I retreated to my room, and didn’t leave until 6am the next morning, when I had to catch my plane. Thank goodness for my two fabulous room-mates, Jen and Marya of You Pinspire Me. I wouldn’t have recovered enough to get home, if it wasn’t for them bringing me Gatorade and Gravol! I’m disappointed I missed out on some of the most important content and parties, but I still had an amazing time, and met some wonderful people. The community I’ve found at BlissDom, and the knowledge I’ve taken away from it, has changed my outlook on life, made me more confident, a skilled blogger, and a stronger person. I can’t imagine my life without it!
A big thank-you goes out to the amazing sponsors of this wonderful conference. The companies that had the biggest impact on me were: Tim Hortons, Trend Trunk, Canadian Lentils, Manulife, Salton, Unicef, Viva, Flipp and Yummy Mummy Club.